Dealing with a "babied" 7 month old

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by kellyal, May 19, 2016.

  1. kellyal

    kellyal New Member

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    May 19, 2016

    I currently work in a room with one other teacher and we care for 8 infants, ranging from 7 months to 12. We recently got a new baby that is just learning to sit up by himself. He has obviously been carried for the past 7 months and no matter what we do, we can not get him to stop crying. We squirms if we hold him and he is not interested in any toys. We try to sing, read books, play, yet nothing we do seems to get him to stop being upset. I am very new to this job and would love any advice! Thank you!
     
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  3. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    May 19, 2016

    Find out what he makes him happy at home, whether it's a song or a book or a toy and ask parent(s) if they can bring it with him. You can post pictures of his parents somewhere in the room so he can look at them too.
    Otherwise, (don't hate me!!) ignore the crying unless he has a real reason to be upset (hunger, diaper, hurt, etc.). Eventually he'll get used to daycare :)
     
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  4. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    May 20, 2016

    Why is that obvious?

    Here is what the MayoClinic says about developmental milestones for 7-9 month old babies:
    http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-l...alth/in-depth/infant-development/art-20047086
    "By this age, most babies can roll over in both directions — even in their sleep. Some babies can sit on their own, while others need a little support."
    Since development is a range, it is not out of the range for a baby to still struggle with sitting throughout this time.

    Also, the baby is in a new environment with new sights, smells, and sounds surrounded by unknown. Not all babies react to these changes well even without being carried all of the time.

    I agree with ChildWhisperer's advice. It was good. I also suggest not being so quick to blame parents when infants and children don't behave in the most convenient way for you. As you see from the MayoClinic link, not all infants are sitting at that age and the article only discusses "normal" development". If there is any unknown developmental issue the range could be longer.
     
  5. renard

    renard Companion

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    May 20, 2016

    Well, he is a baby. Some children develop slower than others, and it is normal (and sometimes not). There's nothing wrong with a baby being carried for seven months, it is considered appropriate everywhere except one country where women are expected back to work too soon. My point is that the problem here is expectations, not behaviour.
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    May 20, 2016

    Some babies have low muscle tone, and they are not as active, nor are they usually meeting developmental milestones. I have no idea if that is this baby, but I do have experience with an infant like this, and to the untrained eye, you would never know what is going on. The squirming while being held could be a clue, since these low tone babies struggle to efficiently use their muscles to sit up, crawl, or, later, walk. Just something to consider.
     
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  7. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    May 21, 2016

    A couple of thoughts: I'd avoid using a picture of the parents. Realistic parental attention is vital to development of infants, and unrealistic attention from a picture might be more detrimental than helpful. I wonder if the baby is just not ready for daycare. Babies are born with the ability to recognize their needs, and perhaps this baby's needs can only be met by the parent(s). One thing I might try in this situation, before the baby begins crying, I would read a book to the baby, especially an easy-level picture book. The baby's brain might be searching for language and due to the different environment of a daycare setting, s/he might not be receiving the language stimulation s/he is searching for. (The language of a picture book would be closer to the attentive language the baby normally receives, and although examining pictures in a book would be above the baby's developmental level, the process of showing the pictures would be additional brain stimulation of a skill that will eventually be acquired).
     
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  8. renard

    renard Companion

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    May 21, 2016

    Here's a story I always share with ECE students: when my first child was born, he cried non-stop. He did not sit until 11 months. I was told it was my fault, because I always carried him. I babied him, I made him clingy. He cried up to 20 hours a day. In my arms/sling was the few quiet moments. Years later, he was diagnosed with Autism. He still cannot hold a pencil at 6 years old. We did, at least, form a wonderful bond through a very hard time. Think back to your ECE training and about critical relationships. An infant cannot be loved too much.

    My other child ran at 7 months and never was held again.
     
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  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 21, 2016

    I'm not criticizing the OP in any way, but this thread makes me realize how much we push our children to achieve developmental milestones before they are ready. We push our babies in daycare, we push our toddlers in pre k to be ready for kindergarten, we push our elementary age children to achieve academic goals before they are ready...and on and on.

    It bothers me that we, as a society, don't give our children time to just be children.
     
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  10. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    May 21, 2016

    This is a whole other topic, and one I could speak to in length, but I'll just say I agree 100%.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 21, 2016

    This post saddens me on so many levels.
     
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  12. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    May 21, 2016

    Oh my....this post saddens me....especially the title. Not only am I a preschool teacher with a masters in early childhood, but I have a 5 month old and I can't imagine anyone expecting him to acclimate to a completely new environment without crying. Infants develop "stranger anxiety" between 5-8 months, and can also begin to experience anxiety upon separation. While it's probably not pleasant for you, crying in a new environment with people that he doesn't know is completely age appropriate. Even though I could go on and on about my personal and professional feelings about this post, I'm going to try to stick to advice...

    1.) Invite the parents to spend 15-30 minutes with you and the infant in the room before they leave if possible. Even though this isn't something that is helpful for toddlers, preschoolers, etc.. it's appropriate for an infant to see you interact with the parent and the parents interact with the classroom setting.
    2.) Ask the parents if the child has a loved item that can be sent with them. If the child is having an especially difficult transition, having a soft toy or blanket from home (especially if used as a soother at home) can help.
    3.) A 7 month old might be teething and this can cause lots of fussiness. Ask the parents and use appropriate strategies to sooth the gums if needed.
    4.) Please don't listen to the poster that said "ignore the crying". That's so sad, and honestly, as a parent, I would immediately pull my child out if that was the case. Ignoring the crying of a toddler, preschooler, etc.. is very different from ignoring the crying of an infant. Infants cry because something is wrong. Yes, that something might be that they are scared, uncomfortable, etc.. but I feel like in this situation you would do better to find ways to soothe the child than just ignore it and hope he eventually gives up.
    5.) The routine of an infant coming from home to a childcare setting can be drastically different. Is he hungry or sleepy? Do you know his particular cues yet to tell you if he is? Talk to the parents about what schedule he is used to at home. If he's crying a lot, he might end up being overtired, which might lead to more crying.

    Overall, I think your best advice is to seek help from the parents. Have an open conversation and let them know that you want their child to have the best experience possible and need their help to help their child. Hopefully they are willing to problem solve with you and come up with some solutions. On a personal note, my sitter waited a month to tell me that my son was crying every day for over an hour during a particular time a day because she thought she could fix it herself. I was upset, but immediately gave her a list of strategies to try and 3 days later he stopped. That's really just to say please don't let this little guy cry all day without letting the parents know whats happening.

    Good luck.
     
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  13. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    May 21, 2016

    Agreed :(
     
  14. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    May 21, 2016

    I'm amazed at some of the teacher:student ratios in other states. When I worked with infants we had 3:1, and we were required to always have two workers. So at most we had six babies to two teachers. During most of the day we also had a third worker in the room who couldn't count for ratio, and couldn't diaper or bottle feed, but could hold kids, rock kids, read to kids, clean toys, etc. So really it was more like having 2:1 ratio. And even that got stressful sometimes! I worked one week in an infant room in another state, and I had a 5:1 ratio, and was expected to leave bottles propped to feed and other things that weren't legal where I had gone to school. I had to quit because literally all I did all day was change diapers, and I was in a room by myself all day with five babies who were screaming because they weren't getting enough attention! So the eight babies and two workers thing was the first thing that upset me about the post.
     
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  15. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    May 22, 2016

    I agree, and current trends are indicating it's going to get worse. I also sympathize with parents who need the use of a daycare. Frankly, basic survival is expensive, and maternity leave only lasts for so long.
     
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  16. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I took ChildWhisper's comment about ignoring to mean that she needed to take care of the other infants as well and to not ignore the others to take care of the one infant the whole time at the exclusion of all others.
     
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  17. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    May 22, 2016

    Uhmmm.... Aren't 7 month olds babies?
     
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  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    There are certain milestones as the months go by, but any early childhood educator should know that growth is developmental and those milestones are 'ballpark' and not absolutes.
     
  19. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    May 22, 2016

    Exactly. Before teaching I worked in early intervention and helped families whose infants/toddlers had delays or disabilities. Even with all my experience and knowledge, my almost 6 month old isn't even rolling over yet. It has nothing to do with how much he's held or carried. Children develop at their own pace.
     
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  20. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    May 22, 2016

    Thank you!
    If there are 8 babies and 2 teachers, and one of them is always with the crying baby, the other teacher has 7 babies to look after by herself!
     
  21. MSYPLA

    MSYPLA Rookie

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    May 29, 2016

    I agree with the other posts that not all children develop at the same rate. However, I would encourage the independence in gross motor skills such as sitting and rolling. Also, try to get the child interested in some toys. I would start with simple toys, such as rattles, that make noises and that you can shake about 6-8 inches from the child's face. This can help with engagement and getting used to new faces that are not mom or dad's.
     

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